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Monthly Archives: July 2012

God Bless America

Right? We hear it every Independence Day. It’s what we hear around election time. I mean, why wouldn’t we want to endorse a candidate who has “the right morals”?

I’m taking a break from my current topic which has been combating the “100 Reasons God Doesn’t Exist,” because I’ve been noticing a bigger and bigger problem with Christianity in America. The more I’ve been seeking God these last couple years…the more I’ve noticed that people have somehow got it into their heads that the U.S.A. is the New Israel, that America is God’s chosen land.

Side note: did you know other people in the world think Americans have an ego problem? I can’t figure why…

Let’s clarify something, though, before some of you get your red, white, & blue undies in a bunch: I love my country. I love my people. America is my home. I want God to bless America. The problem, as I see it, is that when some Christians say “God bless America,” they’re not just asking God to bless America, they’re asking it on the basis of their belief that America is acting in accord with God’s will. This is like when a Christian goes up to their pastor after a service and says, “God bless you pastor, for doing what you do, thank you so much.” The person wants God to bless the pastor, yes, but implicit in that statement is the reason for why that pastor should be blessed. And what breaks my heart is that, come any sort of American holiday, all of the sudden churches are draped in Red White and Blue as if Uncle Sam took a giant deuce all over our church campuses. Pardon my ‘Merican, but I don’t know how else to properly convey my opinion of the decor; there are more flags on U.S. holidays at churches than there are crosses or Christian symbols on any given Sunday. RUN AND TELL THAT.

Now, I understand the founding fathers liked the Bible; they even derived a lot of the laws of our land from the Bible. There are things about our constitution, like the protection of inalienable rights because of the belief that all of us are made in the image of God, that I’m fond of. That, however, does not make the U.S. a Christian nation, and it definitely does not mean that as Christians we need to be proud of our government, or that we should support it AS Christians. Let’s remember that not every single person in government is a Christian, and nor has it ever been that way (I can’t back that up, but I’m willing to bet my citizenship that there’s been some non-believers). Let’s also not forget that this country was founded through a bloody revolution.

Hold on, we have to pay HOW much for tea?! That’s freaking ridiculous! Man, I would KILL people in order to pay less for tea…

Or the numerous atrocities that the American “Christians” pulled against the Native Americans? Or the racism institutionalized through slavery? The racism through segregation after that? Or the racism that still gets perpetuated under a different guise to this day in legislation that keeps minorities in ghettos, their schools in poor shape, and black men behind bars (I won’t go into that, but even if you don’t know what I’m talking about, or do and don’t agree, this argument is no less without it)? How about the many wars we’ve started? The dictators we’ve put in place (Saddam Hussein), or countless women and children we’ve killed in the Middle East, caught in the midst of our mad fervor to fight terrorism (ironically becoming terrorists to many in the Middle East)? Even if you’re not a Quaker like me and you believe in Just-War (I’ll convert you later), there is no way in heaven, hell, or on earth that you can honestly tell me that the U.S. government is one that upholds Christian values. How is it that we can affirm verses like “It’s harder for the rich man to enter heaven than to fit a camel through the eye of a needle” and in the same breath uphold America as Christian when it’s THE RICHEST NATION ON EARTH? How do we read the story of the Good Samaritan on Sunday and on Monday ignore our neighbors struggling under the weight of medical bills or suffering because of their inability to even go to the hospital in the first place?
Am I saying that the U.S. hasn’t done any good things? No. Am I saying that the U.S. is some malevolent beast bent on violence and domination? No. Pretty much most people in the world, no matter who they are, like to THINK they’re doing the right thing, that they’re “fighting the good fight.” But I also like to think I’m a lot smarter than I am, that I’m a better writer than I am, and that I’m a WHOLE lot funnier than I really am. But that doesn’t make me so, and neither does wanting the U.S. to be Christian make it Christian. Christians, in my opinion, are the people who take the words of Christ and the Scriptures of the Bible seriously.

If we’re so Christian, why don’t we take these verses seriously:

Matthew 22:39 “…You shall love your neighbor as yourself…”
Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God”
Matthew 5:43 “Love your enemies; pray for persecutors”
John 18:11 “Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath…”
John 28:36 “If my kingdom were of this world…my servants would fight”
Romans 12:17 “Return no one evil for evil…live at peace with everyone”
2 Corinthian 10:3-4 “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.
2 Timothy 2:24 “The servant of the Lord must be gentle to all”

Please, tell me if that sounds like America to you. And tell me if I’m wrong and why.

I hope this post encourages Christians to re-think where their allegiance lies.
I hope this post encourages non-Christians to know there are other kinds of Christians out there.

P.S. This video epitomizes my lament. We are the Crusades.

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